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This 197 message thread spans 7 pages: < < 197 ( 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 > >     
So Long Google And Thanks For All The Fish
travelin cat




msg:4377387
 12:04 am on Oct 21, 2011 (gmt 0)

Two months ago I sold my main business. It was a website that depended 100% on free Google traffic. We had owned the site since 1995 and after I visited a conference and found out what Google wanted to see to rank well, it started making money in 2001.

Over the years we tried everything we could to generate additional traffic outside of the organic traffic from Google. In our sector the ROI was just not there and we were literally throwing money away. So we just sat and happily watched the money come in. And boy did it come in. Google LOVED us.

We knew that the income was essentially a gift and tried hard to not ramp up our monthly spending, but these things happen. You always seem to want more as you make more without thinking of what would happen if the money stopped coming in. That's just human nature.

So we kept chugging along and bought our dream home in the Wine Country. Our bills increased as we advanced our lifestyle and things were groovy. Yet I always felt strange about our income stream. I always felt as if I was not in control. Of course I was not in control, Google was and I allowed it.

I allowed the free income to continue. Who wouldn't? Google had us by the you-know-whats and I allowed it. But I had many sleepless nights fretting about our rankings, and I began to check our keywords way too often, almost to the point of an obsession. It was affecting my mental and physical health but I really had no other choice but to try and find other sources of income while maintaining the money-maker site.

So 2010 was our best year to date. We had incredible rankings for top keywords as we had for many years, but for some reason, we were exceptionally successful that year. We had not become totally complacent, we had developed other websites, but none of them made close to the money we were making.

Then came Panda. The time I had feared for over 10 years had finally arrived and Google no longer loved us, they liked us, but the heavy petting of the past was over between us. Our income dived by 45% which was tough to swallow. My wife and I talked it over and we decided to sell the business/website. We were fortunate enough to find the perfect buyer and we were free of our Google lust shortly thereafter.

Now I can sit back and read the reports of Google being evil and Panda being some sort of horrible conflagration beset upon the unknowing public and shake my head.

Panda should be a lesson for EVERYBODY that depends on traffic from search engines. If you depend upon free traffic, you should know that it WILL go away at some time. It may take 10 years, it may take a month or a minute, but it will go away, at least a portion of it will and there is nothing you can do about it. Sure you can try whatever remedy you read about here and other places, and they may work, but you are still getting free traffic that can go away at any time. Do you really think that 10 years from now you will still be getting free traffic?

I watch people complaining that they have families to feed and a mortgage to pay so how could this happen to me? Well, ya know what? You have nobody to blame but yourself. It was FREE money and it ended. You allowed it to begin and to end just as I did.

I apologize if this seems harsh, but sometimes a smack in the face is more helpful then a sympathetic pat on the back.

Our next business will not depend on any search engines to be successful. It'll be our hard work that either makes or breaks the business, not some damn algorithm. So goodbye Google and like Douglas Adams, said - So Long, and Thanks For All the Fish, or in this case, money.

 

diberry




msg:4378341
 4:34 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google is also a domain registrar, they know you sold them too.


Just curious: they're not my registrar, and I use privacy guard to keep my name/info out of whois. You're saying they still know who owns every domain? How? And if that's the case, then we didn't need to use their services for them to connect our sites, and all that stuff about spreading sites around different C-classes was a total waste of time.

What's going to happen is MS is going to do an exclusive with a big brand who doesn't require Google. At that point Bing can say, exclusively on Bing. Money will make people do anything. I'm sure a few newspaper type sites might be willing participants in that. I don't see why websites will be any different and in fact you see Facebook using Bing. The next level of that is simply having a brand site blocking Google bot and deindexing completely. I see that day coming.


That sounds very plausible. Someday, somehow, Google's competitors are going to shift things around. The only obstacle is that, having been slapped with anti-trust, MSN has to play nice, but Google can still play dirty. But they're definitely moving aggressively against Google right now - and Apple, in the pad/phone market that didn't exist when MSN was found guilty of predatory practices.

webastronaut




msg:4378358
 6:02 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

I'm really liking the last few posts by Leosghost. I never could understand the nofollow tag the way Goog said (that was all just for their own needs not for our visitors that appreciate what we do on our own websites). I was doing fine before Goog existed and still doing fine. I like to link to other related sites and I get links back to me without even asking.

Content_ed




msg:4378365
 6:36 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

At that point Bing can say, exclusively on Bing.


This is exactly what I was talking about, Mr. Savage. Bing is only a clever marketing gimmick away from being serious competition.

Of course, current Microsoft management ain't too bright, they only lucked out of not owning Yahoo! because Yahoo's management was even less bright.

wheel




msg:4378368
 6:52 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Bing is only a clever marketing gimmick away from being serious competition.

So why isn't Bing spending bajillions marketing directly to consumers? Seems like a growth industry for them.

MrFewkes




msg:4378388
 7:24 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

"So why isn't Bing spending bajillions marketing directly to consumers?"

Wheel - because spending bajillions marketing directly to consumers is not a "clever marketing gimmick".

Note : I do not know what that clever marketing gimmick would be tho.

netmeg




msg:4378400
 8:13 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

They were *paying* people to use Bing and it still didn't work.

Reno




msg:4378403
 8:24 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

I do not know what that clever marketing gimmick would be tho.

Saturate the public with short & regular advertisements in every media which feature a bunch of very cool looking young people saying over and over and over "Wanna know something? Just Bing it!". That's where I'd start ~ they gotta get people to think of Bing as an alternative. Right now, they don't think of it at all.

.........................

londrum




msg:4378404
 8:30 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

The next level of that is simply having a brand site blocking Google bot and deindexing completely. I see that day coming

that's already happened... sort of. do you remember when rupert murdoch started arguing with them about scraping his stories for google news? ...just before he put his papers behind paywalls. that didn't amount to anything

MrFewkes




msg:4378426
 9:09 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

Reno - thats what I want to do - but apparently I am in the "vocal minority" and no one really cares anyway.
:)

nippi




msg:4378432
 9:17 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

it doesn't make sense that sites that are good, with a % of bad content should be penalised.

It makes sense to me, that google would just increase its notifications. You've lost rankings becuase of these issues.

People then would make better sites, fix the problems with their sites and then the public, webmasters and google would be happy.

Bing, isn't as good. those talkng up bing are those who dont know what is wrong with their site.

Reno




msg:4378462
 11:58 pm on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)

It makes sense to me, that google would just increase its notifications. You've lost rankings becuase of these issues.

People then would make better sites, fix the problems with their sites and then the public, webmasters and google would be happy.

You are using what is generally known as "common sense". I have been saying here for years that if Google were an individual, they would need deep therapy to try to understand why they so thoroughly enjoy imposing penalties. From my POV, they are dysfunctional and I mean that literally. Somewhere, there is a screw loose. It is so obvious that the entire web would be better off if there was some guidance ~ NOT exact "here's what you need to do to fix your website" stuff ~ just general GUIDANCE via GWT to help webmasters understand what went wrong. I guess we'll never see it, which in large part is why so many are hoping & praying for a competition that can knock them down a few pegs. But you know, we may never see that either.

...................

Whitey




msg:4378467
 12:07 am on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

The part of travelin_cat's story I really appreciate is the fact that he KNEW there was a flaw in his business model, and that eventually the house of cards could/would collapse

There isn't a business on the planet without a vulnerability, and all sustainability has a dead end, especially in digital / IT / technology

Some will last longer than others, and maybe morph into something greater. But Google isn't immune either. The whole landscape is a business health hazard with opportunities and threats dialled up.

whatson




msg:4378468
 12:09 am on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

They have to destroy the Google brand. When the world understands their real motto: "Don't be evil [like us]", then perhaps the goodwill in that name will diminish and people will come around to Bing.
Unfortunately Bing operates at a substantial loss, they really need more users to build their income so they can improve their technology.

onepointone




msg:4378476
 12:51 am on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

People then would make better sites, fix the problems with their sites and then the public, webmasters and google would be happy


I wonder, does google even really care what kind of sites people put out overall?

Especially in commercial areas, where google continues to bring out their own sites and products? Is feedback to the competition helpful?

If the sites or serps are bad in one area, maybe g will decide to trot out their own product to benefit searchers.

diberry




msg:4378482
 1:24 am on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

It seems clear that google does NOT think it in their best interest to let us know what's "wrong" with our sites. But that may simply be because they're more concerned about somebody cracking the algo and figuring out how to black hat their way to the top (because that's NEVER EVER happened before, right?) than about fostering better content on the web.

Reno




msg:4378492
 2:06 am on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

concerned about somebody cracking the algo

This of course is the excuse that they have put forth for years and is the overall excuse for their obnoxious FUD policy. It may have made some sense when they were climbing to the top with a considerable less complex algo, but now that they thoroughly dominate it makes no sense at all IMO. In actuality, the constant ongoing threat to deep-six an entire site is more like a fear tactic than anything else. Keep people frightened and you keep them subverient.

And BTW, as I said, no one has a right to expect Google to provide any indepth details whatsoever about the precise problems, but they could say in GWT something like "Suspicious backlink profile". And in addition, they could limit that sort of feedback to no more than one response per month, to avoid the potential of someone trying to game their system on an ongoing basis.

All I'm saying is, if we are to believe that they truly want "quality" (isn't that a big part of why Panda came to be? But of course they never defined what they actually mean by "quality", so it's anybody's guess), then providing basic guidance to websites has the potential to move the whole web one step forward. Unless, as onepointone says, they don't care, in which case, it explains everything we need to know about their true motives.

.......................

Web_speed




msg:4378504
 3:15 am on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Google are clearly screwing the entire web with this latest idiotic panada update. The search results are an absolute joke of late.

Sales on over 12 websites i own (various different topics) are DEAD. Ebay store i own with more then 500 various electronic products listed, DEAD!. I have my products also listed over 4 more ebay style other websites.... DEAD.

Affiliate sales on a couple of other websites.... DEAD. and the list goes on and on. No hope in sight and no signs of recovery although i am still getting the same number of unique viewers (+/- 15%) across the network. It is like JUNK non converting (wrong countries) traffic for days now.

P.S
Anyone tried Zapmeta search. Very clean results IMO... they can teach bing a trick or two. Although I think they may be aggregating the top matches from a number of other engines. But bottom line...great spot on SERPs.

diberry




msg:4378516
 5:20 am on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Reno, I totally agree. And I think onepointone is right about them not caring. They are creating a fear atmosphere, but I'm not sure it's about keeping anyone subservient, per se. I mean, we don't know what they want, so how can we serve them? But what it does do is keep us all so busy jumping from one foot to the other that we neglect sound business principles. Or we're outright banned from using them (paid text links, for example) on Google's say-so.

I don't mind Google acting like a business and doing what's best for them with no concern for me - that's to be expected. But when they show deep concern about preventing me from doing what's best for MY business - that's a predatory practice, and it's not okay. But my only options are: keep doing what they tell me and risk losing an unknown number of potential visitors, or stop doing what they tell me and lose a known number of visitors. At that point, it's not a case of the webmaster stupidly relying on Google. It's just how things are when a company gets so big, their name becomes synonymous with their product.

CainIV




msg:4378524
 5:51 am on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

You have nobody to blame but yourself. It was FREE money and it ended.


Well said, and good on your for saying it. Being a business person is an evolution, a growth, and is rarely a one shot deal.

tabish




msg:4378526
 5:57 am on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Free money? :)

May be you were getting more than your effort and something was making you nervous to loose it so easily, and your fear became true :) And you sold it, and you look like very relaxed and enjoying by seeing others suffering and tried to give a little preach :).. When we are most relaxed and feel secure, we Preach :) We actually enjoy being on the safer side and then other people look sinner, culprit and fool. Like priests feel for others :)

It was never a FREE money, we put days and night to build our website empire and yes, it may be the bad time, but NOT the end of the world. And I am so damn busy again day and night to make it work that I seriously do not have time to think about any algo or Panda. and It has started working for me, there is nothing impossible.

Virtually whole Information technology is FREE, but behind this FREE logo, there are millions of dollar hidden. Microsoft couldn't understand this "FREE" system and Larry Page did.

I am glad that selling your business worked for you, but there are people who never loose hope. We have seen very bad times and if I compare, this is nothing.

MrSavage




msg:4378551
 7:35 am on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

People lose sight of the obvious. None of our websites in Google index means no places for those ads to show up. If there were only 100 websites, and those 100 websites weren't with Google, where would the Adwords part of their business turn?

So to say they don't need us is a total farce. Of course they do. It's just that there are so many of us, they can do as they please without any ramifications. However, same thing happened where I live with a cable company. Only show in town. Then they weren't, and guess what? Yeah, a good number of customers that were crapped on with high prices and lousy customer service said, bye bye forever. People at times have very long memories.

So forget this "they don't need us" rubbish. They need some of us, but if you scale it back to something logical, you can see the statement about they owe us nothing is complete garbage. Without our sites willing to put up their ads, they have S. The website owners have the ball but people are a bit clueless on that. Of course on the scale there is no way that could ever happen. It doesn't change the fact that webmasters could ultimately put Google out of business with one collective you know what.

MrFewkes




msg:4378572
 8:51 am on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

On the free money thing for those who think we all got something for nothing - if thats the case then......

The people who get the most for free - are google.

And if they were to ever start crying and saying yes but look what we invested in our time and money - then ditto.

What did google get for free? A copy of the entire internet.

So dont anyone here start bleating about free. It doesnt stack up - and is certainly NOT a reason anyway for the sheer evil way in which they treat the internet.

oliondor




msg:4378576
 9:09 am on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Nobody depends on Google if he doesn't want !

Just pay your Adwords ads and your business will be ok even even if the Panda hit you badly...

loner




msg:4378655
 2:02 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Understanding the Goo and where our symbiotic-style relationship is eventually going is forecast in the following:

1) Mutualism-Both organisms benefit

2) Commensalism-One organism benefits, and the other is not affected in any manner.

3) Parasitism-One organism benefits, and the other is harmed.

Deal with it or be consumed.

rlange




msg:4378687
 3:12 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

drall wrote:
Google would be nothing, completely NOTHING without our content they use for "free".

And how many websites would be (or are) nothing without Google? It works both ways. Of course, as others have pointed out, Google can do more to harm a single website than a single website can do to harm Google. I understand that frustration, but you won't find too many business relationships between large companies and small companies where this isn't true.

Google's a big fish and you're a small fish. You're likely to benefit greatly by a relationship with Google, whereas they aren't likely to benefit very much from a relationship with you. Obviously, you shouldn't go into that relationship expecting it to last forever.

whatson wrote:
Then like any other bricks and mortar store you advertise and get your target market to know about you. In this case your target market are the people searching for your best related keywords, and you optimize for said search terms.

Yikes. Keyword optimization is in no way analogous to traditional advertising. It's more like styling the front of your brick-and-mortar store to attract passers-by. And if one of those "people" happen to be a local business directory that keeps an eye out for and promotes interesting places at no additional cost to you, then... there you go.

Personally, I think "free" isn't the best term; "indirect" fits the situation better, in my opinion.

MrFewkes wrote:
[...] our combined strength should be put to use IN FAVOR OF ANOTHER ENGINE to split the traffic.

This is horribly short-sighted. What guarantee does anyone have that this other search engine won't eventually screw them over, too?

econman wrote:
We are participating in a symbiotic economic relationship with Google -- one in which we can't exist without them, and they can't exist without us (collectively).

Those who, out of frustration, suggest or dream about shutting Google out are essentially advocating virtual murder-suicide. That's the wrong emotional response to, well... anything. And, honestly, it would just end up being a virtual suicide. If you're already doing poorly in Google's SERPs, I doubt they're going to miss you.

webastronaut wrote:
I never could understand the nofollow tag the way Goog said (that was all just for their own needs not for our visitors that appreciate what we do on our own websites).

I'm not sure Google was ever very vague about that; I, being a realtive newbie, was always aware that nofollow was primarily meant to help Google keep their SERPs a bit less spammy. However, I'd say it's also reasonable to expect that Google would see it as a site implicitly disconnecting itself from potentially spammy websites; a positive in Google's eyes (and any other search engine that decides to go that route).

nippi wrote:
It makes sense to me, that google would just increase its notifications. You've lost rankings becuase of these issues.

How would Google notify these websites? Not everyone uses Google Webmaster Tools.

whatson wrote:
Unfortunately Bing operates at a substantial loss, they really need more users to build their income so they can improve their technology.

Depose one semi-benevolent dictator so another semi-benevolent dictator can take it's place? That's not a solution...

--
Ryan

Leosghost




msg:4378693
 3:31 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

I wouldn't call Bing ( and thus by "proxy" Ballmer ) a
semi-benevolent dictator
and as Google's aims do not always co-incide with mine I'd be hesitant to employ the term to them too..:)

Other than why they did the "no follow" and pushed it so ..

and "free money"..

IMO those who have hotly disputed this term with travellin_cat, knew full well the sense in which he sued it but wanted a "nit-pick" handle catch hold of , to begin their usual "Panda" rants with..

I'd pretty much agree with you on the rest.. :)

diberry




msg:4378696
 3:38 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

The difference between Google and Bing is very simple: MSN has already been slapped with anti-trust. They haven't engaged in predatory practices since AFAIK. They've behaved well, and have a continued incentive to behave well, because another anti-trust suit might be a lot harder on them.

Google, OTOH, has gotten away with it so far. And, as Reno mentioned, parts of Google certainly have a cozy relationship with the govt that is worrying.

In any case, I don't think anyone's advocating for Bing to replace Google in terms of search market share. I'd just like to see them split evenly on search - each of them owning maybe 30-40%, with the other engines splitting what's left.

indyank




msg:4378708
 3:57 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

IMO those who have hotly disputed this term with travellin_cat, knew full well the sense in which he sued it but wanted a "nit-pick" handle catch hold of , to begin their usual "Panda" rants with..


There wasn't even a mention of panda in any of those remarks on this thread from my end...

guess your panda rants are more intolerable than others...

MrFewkes




msg:4378709
 3:58 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Rlange - I know its short sighted - but to be honest its the only thing I can think of.

The only long term answer is SE utopia where the search function of the internet is controlled by site owners whos only benefit is traffic and they all agree where in the serps they sit.

Never going to happen - of course.

Leosghost




msg:4378711
 4:02 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

my apologies indyank..:) should have said "most"

aahh ..just realised ..I think you mean they didn't mention "Panda"..My point is that down the years when I or others have criticised Google for privacy issues , the "books" thing , copyright etc ..we've been pretty much told that Google were great, by people who were only interested that the adsense checks kept rolling in...

Now that they are are not doing so well due to Panda ( and in spite of what some of them claim, if they are doing OK? then why only speak up about Google's practices now )..they are in every thread, and especially the Panda ones, but the sense of "jilted" bile is common to all their posts, even when panda is not actually mentioned..( I should have said "their usual rants against Google, since Panda .in which they do not always mention the word Panda" ) that describes a lot of posts since feb 2011 here, more accurately..

Google has always been fickle ..but many were so busy counting the adsense money that they didn't want to hear.

[edited by: Leosghost at 4:20 pm (utc) on Oct 24, 2011]

MrSavage




msg:4378716
 4:11 pm on Oct 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

The split is coming. Google Adsense vs. (insert MS Bing ad program name here) is it. It's pretty simple. That makes it pretty interesting as webmasters. Obviously Google isn't liking ads on page as much (timing is ironic isn't it?) so you aren't going to have both are you? I'm sure there is a policy in place about similar looking ads with Adsense. Therefore the divide is coming. Of course people will go where the money is at 95% of the time. Google pays more? People stay.

I'm still surprised that people argue that Google doesn't need us, we need them. People keep saying oh it's so stupid to rely on one source of traffic. Other claim they don't rely on Google at all. In that case, our website can exist even if we chose not to run Adsense on them. No billboards for ads means what for an ad company? Collectively we have the hammer. There is no disputing that. Not saying a million++ of people can unite, but the point is if they did, we could certainly dictate to them and not the other way around. Being united only becomes important when enough people collectively become sick and tired.

So yes I'm shooting a big hole in this "Google gave me some easy or free money" thinking. Actually you gave them the billboard, they made a lot more money than you did and they ended your revenue stream because you sold your lemon to somebody before Panda came along. I guess I have a different idea of what success is.

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